What a great week we had in Sydney for our reunion in November.
Numbers were somewhat less than we originally anticipated and we need to work on that for next time (whenever and wherever that might be). I understand that planning has already begun for 2020! Many at the reunion reported the week as an outstanding success made so much so by the range of activities and events on offer.
From the blessing of the Buoys at the meet and greet at the ANZAC Memorial Hyde Park, to cruising in the James Craig on Sydney Harbour, to the Remembrance Day service at our very own Tingira Memorial Park in Rose Bay, to the Grand Ball at Luna Park and finally our farewell cruise and BBQ at the RAN Heritage Centre, every day had new experiences in arguably the finest city and harbour in the world.
Many new friendships were made and many old friendships rekindled–all in the company of our shipmates, friends and loved ones. We had JRs attend from all over Australia and indeed, some from the other side of the world and I want to say thank you to all those attending for making it such a wonderful and memorable experience. You have done the Association proud by continuing to foster that important value of mateship.
Michelle and I thoroughly enjoyed our time at the reunion and I know others felt the same way. The Grand Reunion Ball was of course a highlight and it was wonderful to see so many of our members still wanting to party on when eight bells sounded! Clearly the dancing feet have stayed on in all of us! 32nd was there till the wee hours!
I also want to publicly thank our President, Lance Ker and his organising Committee for their hard work in making this reunion come together despite some challenging circumstances on occasion. Putting on an event such as this requires and enormous amount of effort, dedication and above all, persistence. While it was a team effort there is one individual who really brought this together and made it happen.
Our Secretary, Dixie Lee, and his family have provided an enormous effort and have been outstanding in their commitment to make the Reunion the success it was. We owe them a massive thank you for the work they put into making this happen. Thank you again Dixie and the Lee family.
Before closing and in anticipation this Voicepipe will be published before Christmas, may I take this opportunity for Michelle and I to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. During this festive season I would ask us all to reflect on that which is important to us, our loved ones and friends. Please take a moment to remember also those young and sometimes not so young, men and women who are away from their own families this Christmas doing what we ask of them in protecting our Nation and her National interest. I am sure you would all join me in wishing them a safe and merry Christmas and a safe return home to their families when their work is done.
Russ Crane AO,CSM, RANR
Patron Tingira Australia Assoc
PS: Great result just to hand on JR Memorial, well done to Ken Dobbie and his team, more in new year I’m sure!